The Sustainable Route
Welcome to The Sustainable Route, where you can read our latest sustainability stories, discover what we’ve been doing to become a better business, and see our commitments for the future.
“The Sustainable Route is not a destination, it’s a journey of continual improvement.” – Richard Boissevain, Managing Director
Our sustainability at Route One is an ongoing process, and one that can never be complete as every product we sell uses natural resources and comes with an environmental cost. However, we know that we have a big responsibility to our community, our planet and ourselves, to acknowledge our footprint and improve as a business. Therefore, we’re making small steps each season to lessen our impact and find a more sustainable route forward. We’ve only got one shot at protecting our planet, and we’re all in it together.
The Sustainable Route
For Cop's Sake!
This November, Glasgow hosted the most important climate conference to date, COP26. For 12 short days, the world’s leaders gathered to decide the planet’s fate and Glasgow became the centre for climate debate. We wanted to engage our community in the decisions being made at COP and give them a voice to express their feelings about the climate crisis. So, for the duration of the summit, we partnered up with re:ply skateboards to host “For Cop’s Sake!”, a Skateboard Art Show in our Route One Glasgow store.
We transformed our store from a retailer of skateboards, clothing, and footwear, into a Skateboard Art Showroom, displaying artwork donated by brilliant skate artists from around the world.
When we first reached out to our community of skate and street artists, we had no idea of the amazing response we would get back. That so many artists responded to the challenge and so many others offered their support for free, speaks to the scale of the problem and is a source of hope for the future.
We sent the artists old recycled skateboards, collected through our Deckcycle scheme and re-vitalised by re:ply skateboards, upon which they had free licence to express their personal responses to the Climate Crisis. The diverse collection sent a message from the skate community to the world leaders gathering at COP, to take the bold steps required for all our sakes!
The show culminated in an live auction hosted by Forum Auctions on Friday 12th November, raising a WHOPPING £22,000 for the Environmental Justice Foundation (Charity No. 1088128). Forum Auctions kindly waived their commission so that 100% of the proceeds went to the EJF, an NGO working to address climate injustice by exposing environmental human rights abuses and defending the vulnerable communities that bear the brunt of the climate crisis.
We were absolutely thrilled with the results of the show, which produced brilliant environmental artwork, raised awareness about climate change and inequality, and donated £22,000 to the Environmental Justice Foundation.
Find out more.
Our Deckcycle scheme is up and running across all our stores. If you’ve got an old, broken, or battered board that’s reached the end of its skating life, bring it in and we’ll give it a happy retirement! We’ll even give you £5 towards your new deck to say thanks for choosing to recycle. Just ask for a Deckcycle discount when you recycle a board at your local store. Find your nearest Route One store here.
We were brainstorming what to do with all these old decks and got in contact a with re:ply skateboards, a company set up by Danny Aubrey, a creative Scottish skater who has dedicated himself to resurrecting old decks. The decks we collect in Route One stores get sent up to Glasgow where they are transformed into newly skate-able boards and deck-art. Danny sees resource where others see waste, even the grip-tape gets repurposed as sandpaper, and off-cuts are donated to No Comply Jewellery, where they get made into jewellery and homeware.
Th Sustainable Route
In House Recycling Policy
It's not just skateboards that get recycled. Across our Head Office, warehouse, and stores, we try to ensure that no unnecessary waste is sent to landfill. Our main goal is reducing the waste we produce in the first place and then reusing and recycling wherever possible. Unsold or faulty stock either gets auctioned for charity, donated, or recycled.
The Sustainable Route
Getting Rid of Single Use Plastic
It’s undeniable the world has a huge plastic problem. We’ve all seen the photos of animals caught up in plastic bags and micro plastics found in our oceans. According to the National Geographic, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations each year. Another fact that shocked us is that plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes before being discarded. They can go on to take 20 years to breakdown, and when they do, they break down into ever smaller pieces that continue to have devastating impacts on the environment.
So, we decided to replace our old plastic packaging with 100% recyclable and compostable paper bags. Our Sustainable Route bags are produced using FSC certified materials, which promote responsible forest management. Re-purposing or recycling the bags is best to reduce demand for new raw materials and the energy used to make them. However, the bags are also fully compostable and will break down naturally without polluting the environment.
Changing our packaging was a first step in the right direction, but there are still improvements to be made. Our next goal is to eliminate the non-degradable plastic from our garment packaging. We are in the process of changing to biodegradable and compostable bags wherever possible for our Own Brand products, and we are now beginning to work with the brands we stock to discuss their single-use plastic policies. We hope for a day when we have zero single use plastic in our supply chain.
The Sustainable Route
Supporting Environmental NGOs
We support grassroots organisations working to make the world a better place. Examples of environmental NGO’s we’ve supported in the past include, Waste Aid UK, Amazon Conservation and The Environmental Justice Foundation.
Reducing Our Footprint
We've been looking into our supply chain and thinking about more sustainable options for our Route One Own Brand clothing. This has shone a light on difficulties we could not have predicted and has got us thinking about every step of the production process. We are asking vital questions about the materials we use, how they are grown, what inks we print with, how our garments are packaged and how far they've had to travel to get to us.
After a lot of work to address these issues, we’ve launched a new seasonal Route One Own Brand range, which isn’t perfect, but is another step on our sustainability journey. The collection contains 100% GOTs Certified Organic Cotton Tees and Beach Pants, which are packaged in fully biodegradable bags and labelled with FSC Certified card swing tags, as well as Recycled Bags and Beanies.
Route One O.B.
We’re glad to be moving in a more sustainable direction, but we’re aware that there’s still a lot of improvements to be made, and we’re committed to achieving greater sustainability across our entire Own Brand range and in partnership with the brands we represent.
When it comes to the other brands we stock, we can’t change their supply chains, but we can communicate which products are more sustainable and why, so that you can make informed decisions about what you buy. For this reason, we have created sustainability categories and have tagged every product with sustainable attributes with a green leaf.
Every journey starts with a single step and ours is just beginning.
If you have any further questions about Route One’s social and environmental responsibility, please don’t hesitate to contact our Sustainability Projects Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.